Marcus Smart compromising in free agency can only benefit the Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart has waited as long as he can, and the free agent market continues to dry up. Teams have spent their significant money, and it is abundantly clear that no team offered Smart his ideal kind of money.
There is the possibility of signing the qualifying offer for the Boston Celtics, or he will be signing a long term deal for much less money that he anticipated going into this offseason.
In either case, the Celtics are getting what they want. Smart has earned his money and deserves everything he is asking for, but the Celtics have to think about the whole organization and other players that need to be paid.
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If he signs the qualifying offer, the Celtics benefit because he will be getting paid pennies, making sure they will not have major tax concerns for a while.
If Smart decides to sign a deal with one of the four teams it is reported that he is meeting with, then the Celtics still have the power to match an offer sheet. Smart is clearly taking a pay cut, so it is hard to imagine any offer sheet being out of the range of the Celtics.
It puts Smart in an odd position as well. You never want to leave money on the table, and signing that qualifying offer puts Smart in a dangerous position. One bad season and he could be losing tens of millions, when he knows that he can get a significant pay day this offseason. On top of that, the qualifying offer is no where near what he would be getting paid on a yearly basis, even on a bad deal.
The other side is that there is going to be a lot more money to spend next offseason, and he will be an unrestricted free agent. Smart gets even more freedom and control next offseason, making that qualifying offer a little more enticing.
Overall, this is what Celtics fans want to hear. It is making it more likely that Smart is brought back. Whether it is a short term or long term deal, the Celtics clearly want Smart back.
The negotiations may be troubling, but Smart has still made it clear he wants to be in Boston. The market has made it clear that Smart is closer to Boston’s price range that his desired contract, and there should be no other obstacle that keeps him out of Boston.
Maybe one of these teams will be blown away and will want to make sure the Celtics cannot match an offer. You cannot rule it out, but it is hard to imagine that happening right now.
Smart also knows that he can really showcase his value for the Celtics, who know how to use him better than anyone. On top of that, he has put a lot of work in with this core and you know he does not want to leave when they are finally ready to dominate the East and contend for a championship